GEODIVERSITY AND THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS
Geodiversity & sustainable development goals 1, 2, 3, & 4.
End poverty in all its forms everywhere
SDG 1.4: By 2030, ensure that all men and women, in particular the poor and the vulnerable, have equal rights to economic resources, as well as access to basic services, ownership and control over land and other forms of property, inheritance, natural resources, appropriate new technology and financial services, including microfinance
Equitable access to natural resources - an integral part of geodiversity - is a significant target for the elimination of poverty, as outlined in SDG 1.4. Through increased education and awareness of geodiversity, we can increase sustainable access to essential geological resources, be they clean water from aquifers, resources to build homes, or fair access to local mineral wealth.
End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture
SDG 2.4: By 2030, ensure sustainable food production systems and implement resilient agricultural practices that increase productivity and production, that help maintain ecosystems, that strengthen capacity for adaptation to climate change, extreme weather, drought, flooding and other disasters and that progressively improve land and soil quality
The natural alteration of rocks is fundamental for the formation of soils; essential for agricultural uses and the communities that rely on those agricultural products, particularly in developing countries in Africa and other continents where the improvement of soil fertility and water retention, and the reduction of soil erosion are of paramount importance.
By better tailoring crops to the local geodiversity - including the soils - productivity can be increased in a sustainable way that supports local communities, improves soil quality, and enriches biodiversity.
Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
SDG 3.4: By 2030, reduce by one third premature mortality from non-communicable diseases through prevention and treatment and promote mental health and well-being
There is increasing evidence to suggest that access to nature areas is important not only for phyiscal health, but also mental health. Geodiversity is the basis for the landscapes that underpin our natural areas. Landscapes provide an identity for local and indigenous communities and attract individuals to explore the world in their leisure time. To find out more regarding the links between nature and mental health, check out these resources from the UK-based charity MIND.
Protected areas are an important place for people to explore nature. Below you can see visitors to the Mistaken Point UNESCO World Heritage Site in Newfoundland, Canada, hiking out to the site to explore the 565 million year old fossils:
Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
SDG 4.7: By 2030, ensure that all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development, including, among others, through education for sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, global citizenship and appreciation of cultural diversity and of culture’s contribution to sustainable development
Geodiversity is a natural laboratory and textbook; teaching new generations about Earth history, the sustainable use of the Earth's resources, and the science necessary to overcome the challenges of tomorrow. The increase of awareness on geodiversity will give the opportunity for teachers to implement educational activities in schools all over the world, in order to educate students on the sustainability of limited natural resources. These activities, focused on topics such as climate change, biodiversity, water and air pollution, soil erosion, disaster risk reduction and sustainable lifestyles, are aligned with the UNESCO’s strategies and policies on Education for Sustainable Development.